The Social Library Project

connect, research, engage

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Pokemon Goes to the Library

This 21st century digital reboot of the 90s Pokemon game is all over the news. There has been good and bad reported and there has been some deep and meaningful philosophising about the game on The Minefield (podcast) from Radio National, Australia.

Here’s a recap of some of stories and tweets about Libraries and Pokemon Go.


What do you think about this game? Any complaints from library visitors wanting some peace and quiet away from catchers? Increases in your sign ups? What do you think about the idea in the Minefield podcast that sacred and special places should be excluded from games that impinge on the reality?


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Libraries & Social Media from VALA16

Presentations at the recent VALA 2016 conference on social media. If I have missed any do please let me know in the comments.

Access to these videos requires registration.

Trove and social media today: does a click through mean what we think it means? – Catriona Bryce

Abstract: Using social media is now business as usual for the National Library of Australia and Trove. The Trove team believes that it is engaging people in these spaces, people who know and love Trove and those who have never heard of it. The team believes it is promoting the use of Trove. But is this true? Do people really click through to those links? Do people find Trove and keep coming back? Understanding what the team at Trove wants to achieve in social media is crucial to assessing its value. Is impact in the numbers, the individual stories of lives changed, or is it an interweaving of both?

Altmetrics: social media metrics tools expanding the librarian’s role  – Richard P Hulser

Abstract: Using a case study at a United States natural history museum, this paper focuses on why altmetrics are important to senior management in research institutions and how librarians in institutions worldwide could utilise altmetrics social media metrics tools to expand the understanding of the value of their information services expertise to support an institution’s mission and goals.

Maps, manuscripts and the masses  – Kenn Bicknell

Abstract:New web-based technologies are providing information professionals with tools to collect and preserve historical resources as never before. Many institutions are engaging the public in assisting them with metadata creation to improve description, increase access, and expand the body of knowledge surrounding their resources. These activities not only provide organisations with critical human resources, but build a more informed and engaged community of users. This paper reviews examples of several types of these innovative projects and what the evolution of “crowd-sourced metadata” may mean for the professional role of future librarians, archivists and curators.

A national approach to digital inclusion and digital literacy: what can this mean for public libraries? – Brendan Fitzgerald, Lisa Fletcher, Tegan Kop

Abstract: Australia is currently facing a digital literacy challenge, as one in five adult Australians have not used the Internet. This paper looks at digital literacy and asks what this means for public libraries and how are they responding to technological change. In particular, it examines the Go Digi ( project, Australia’s first national approach to digital literacy. Go Digi is designed to improve the digital confidence of 300,000 Australians.

Formalising the vernacular: social media skills in higher education – Megan Pozzi

Abstract: This paper discusses the issue of social media skills using a literacy framework. Firstly, it argues that social media skills are a form of vernacular, or ‘everyday’, literacy and articulates the issues associated with trying to formalise these skills within the curriculum. Secondly, it calls for greater explicit attention to social media skills within higher education, by arguing that social media literacies are a part of new literacies. It evaluates QUT’s “Create a Better Online You” suite of social media resources in light of this framework, and discusses the role of libraries in addressing social media skills.

Digital image collections and social media sharing: goals, strategies, and challenges for Australian cultural institutions – Courtney Ruge, Tom Denison

Abstract: This paper reports on the use of social media in conjunction with digital image collections by Australian cultural institutions. The research draws upon an adaptation of the theory of affordances in examining the goals, implementation, and outcomes of a sample of cultural institutions in using digital image collections in various combinations with social media platforms. The implications and challenges associated with establishing and maintaining a strong presence within the spaces of image-sharing and information-sharing via social media and digital image collections are explored, including examples from the current practices of Australian cultural institutions obtained through a website survey and interviews with industry professionals.

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Technology Outlook–Australian Tertiary Education Perspective

The latest NMC Technology Outlook : Australian Tertiary Education report (2015) is now available. Social media does not figure greatly in the report. However it does raise a mention in some sections of the report:

Personalising Learning – “There are two paths of development for personalised learning: the first is organised by and for the learner which includes apps, social media, and related software.” p. 7

Mobile Learning – “Mobile apps with built-in social features enable learners to share their questions or findings with each other in real time.” p. 14

Wearable Technology – “… can conveniently integrate tools that track sleep, movement, location and social media interactions…” p.16

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Digital Convergence, Libraries & Participatory Culture

Libraries are often hailed as the cultural and learning hub of their communities. To deepen community engagement and social inclusion, libraries are adopting new technologies to facilitate a participatory and learning culture. With market saturation of smartphones and tablets and their associated apps, new affordances for content creation, curation and sharing show great potential to enhance participatory culture. The typical smartphone or tablet now incorporates digital technologies such as geo-location, audio, video, photo and web technologies. Bringing these technologies into a single device has enabled the development of apps such as Instagram, HistoryPin and SoundCloud. It has also changed the way users engage with established social networks and photo-sharing sites. Users can now create and share content on an unprecedented scale from any accessible Wi-fi or mobile phone network. Libraries are embracing these technology-rich apps to interact with their customers in many different ways. Examples in this article examine how libraries are taking up opportunities enabled by the convergence of technologies into mobile devices in the participatory culture context – tapping into new communities, engaging with their stakeholders in meaningful ways, enhancing their social impact and transforming their essential roles in today’s knowledge society.


Our paper, “Geo, audio, video, photo: How digital convergence in mobile devices facilitates participatory culture in libraries” was published online in December 2014 in the Australian Library Journal.


Paper in ALJ

Preprint in epublications@bond research repository

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VALA 2014 resources with a social flavour

The conference papers and presentations from VALA2014 are now open access under a creative commons licence. The presentations were video recorded so you can see the presenters and hear the QAs at the end of each one. Site requires free registration. VALA is a major library conference held in Melbourne every two years, focussing on library tech.


Here are a few that might be of interest to readers in the social media space.


Gene Tan, Director, National Library Singapore
A new kind of citizens’ library through the Singapore Memory Project — Keynote
#vala14 #p3


Kathryn Barwick, Mylee Joseph, State Library of New South Wales, Cecile Paris and Stephen Wan, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia
Hunters and collectors: seeking social media content for cultural heritage collections
#vala14 #s19


Wendy Abbott, Jessie Donaghey, Joanna Hare and Peta Hopkins, Bond University Library, Qld
The perfect storm: the convergence of social, mobile and photo technologies in libraries
#vala14 #s20


Kathleen Smeaton and Kate Davis, Queensland University of Technology
Is it Tweet-worthy? Privacy in a time of sharing


Holley Adams, Hugh Rundle and Hannah Munn, City of Boroondara Library Service, Vic
‘I read this thing’   : bringing professional development into the social media age
#vala14 #s36


Joe Murphy, Libraryfuture, USA
Library as Future
#vala14 #p6

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We’re at VALA talking about libraries & Instagram

Jo, Jessie and I are at VALA 2014 conference this week, and are ready for learning, networking and presenting.

On Wednesday we will be presenting the findings of our research project on how Libraries are using Instagram, the hugely successful photo-sharing app.

The perfect storm: the convergence of social, mobile and photo technologies in libraries.

The paper and research data are available from Bond University’s research repository.

Also the paper on the VALA site.

Get Visible or Vanish

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In Bond Research Week 2013 (Sep 2-6) the Library hosted a panel session on the topic of using new media (social media) for raising research profiles.

A recording of the session is now available.

The panel session was organised by Peta Hopkins and Wendy Abbott of Bond University Library. The speakers in the session are: Daniel Brennan, Katrina Bramstedt, Tracy Whitelaw, Jeffrey Brand, Michael Rees and Peta Hopkins. All the speakers are from Bond University. The session took place on the 6 of September 2013, Bond University.

The recording and slides are available for reuse under a creative commons licence from the University’s research repository, epublications@Bond.